One reason these mining stocks have lagged their underlying commodity is that investors are piling into gold and silver ETFs as a safer way to invest in the metals. To entice investors, gold and silver mining companies are forced to sweeten the pot by expanding their growth profiles, sometimes at the expense of high grade metal and low cash costs, and by raising their dividend. In fact, Newmont Mining ( NEM) instituted the first dividend tied to the gold price earlier this year while other companies are just increasing their payout. The move has caught Krebs' attention. "2012 is a year where this company will be looking very hard at putting some sort of dividend policy into place," he said.
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